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Arkansas: Governor Signs Emergency Powers Legislation into Law, Four More Pro-Gun Bills on the Move

Friday, March 11, 2011

As the 2011 legislative session continues in Little Rock, a number of pro-gun bills are at various stages of the legislative process. Governor Mike Beebe (D) signed into law one of the NRA’s top priorities for this session, Senate Bill 115, the emergency powers legislation on March 4.  House Bill 1873, workplace protection legislation, recently was passed in the state House.  Three pro-gun bills were also recently introduced, including House Bill 1958 and Senate Bill 856, which would allow a permit holder to carry in church and Senate Bill 844, campus carry legislation.

Senate Bill 115, introduced by state Senator Bill Sample (R-19), would protect our Second Amendment rights by prohibiting any government agency from confiscating or regulating the lawful possession, transfer, transport and carry of firearms during a state of emergency, such as occurred in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.  Our thanks goes to Senator Sample for introducing this important protection of the rights of law-abiding, and to Governor Beebe for signing it into law. 

House Bill 1873, introduced by state Representative John Catlett (D-61), would prohibit public and private employers from imposing policies that would restrict employees from storing a firearm in their vehicle while parked in the employer’s parking lot, if the employee has a valid Arkansas carry permit. It also prevents employers from establishing a condition of employment based on whether or not an employee has a valid Arkansas carry permit. This legislation was introduced on March 3, and passed in the House on March 9 on a 69 to 16 vote.  To see how your state Representative voted, please click here.

House Bill 1958, introduced by state Representative Bryan King (R-91), and Senate Bill 856, introduced by state Senator Jason Rapert (R-18), were both introduced on March 7.  Both of these bills are intended to repeal the prohibition on concealed handgun licensees carrying a concealed firearm into a church.  Both bills still need to have their details drafted, but we will continue to report on their progress.

Finally, Senate Bill 844, also introduced by Senator Rapert, is intended to revive the effort to allow certain employees of universities, colleges, or community colleges to carry a concealed firearm on the campus of their employer, provided they have a valid Arkansas carry permit.  While the House version of this concept, House Bill 1479, was defeated in the House Education Committee on March 3, the NRA will work with Senator Rapert to try to pass it in the Senate.

Please contact your state Representative and urge him or her to work with the NRA and pro-gun legislators to pass HB 1958.  Also, please thank those who voted for HB 1873.  To locate your state Representative and their contact information, please click here.

In addition, please contact your state Senator and urge him or her to work with the NRA and pro-gun legislators to pass SB 844 and SB 856. To locate your state Senator and their contact information, please click here.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.